Junior goaltender Jeremy Swayman and head coach Red Gendron have claimed top individual honors this season in Hockey East.
Swayman on Thursday was named the Player of Year, while Gendron took home the Bob Kullen Award as Bauer Coach of the Year.
Swayman has enjoyed a memorable week. On Tuesday he signed a contract with the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and won the Walter Brown Award as New England’s best American-born college hockey player.
On Wednesday, he was recognized as Hockey East’s Stop It Goaltending Goaltender of Year and as a first-team all-star. The native of Anchorage, Alaska, also was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award presented annually to the top player in college hockey.
Swayman is the first Maine goaltender to win Hockey East’s top individual honor and the first Black Bear to do so since Spencer Abbot in 2012. He finished the season with a record of 18-11-5 with three shutouts and led the NCAA in saves with 1,099.
The junior ranks second in the country with a 9.39 save percentage and 14th with a 2.07 goals-against average. His 2,060 minutes played are fifth most among qualifying netminders. He also recorded 25 games with 30 or more saves.
The 62-year-old Gendron, who just concluded his seventh season behind the UMaine bench, posted his best campaign. He directed the Black Bears to a 18-11-5 season, including a 12-9-3 Hockey East record that earned them the fourth seed for the league quarterfinals and a home-ice quarterfinal series.
The tournament was cancelled by the coronavirus.
It marked the first time UMaine had cracked the top four in Hockey East under Gendron, whose team was picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches poll.
Gendron beat out Boston College’s Jerry York, who guided his team to the league regular-season championship, and Connecticut’s Mike Cavanaugh, whose Huskies were picked ninth in the preseason poll but finished fifth.
It would have been the first time a UMaine team had hosted a quarterfinal series since 2012, which was also the last year the Black Bears reached the Hockey East semifinals and earned an NCAA Tournament berth.
UMaine was 4-7-2 in the league and in ninth place when it visited No. 4 Boston College Jan. 24-25 and the Black Bears stunned the Eagles by posting a pair of overtime wins, 4-3 and 3-2.
That jumpstarted a dramatic second-half surge by UMaine, which went 8-2-1 in its last 11 league games. The Black Bears went 10-3-2 overall in the second half of the season.
UMaine was the only team to beat Boston College twice and the Black Bears beat every team in Hockey East except UMass (0-2) and UMass Lowell (0-1-1).
Gendron has one-year left on a contract that pays him $213,282.08 per year. He received a two-year contract extension after the 2017-2018 season.
Gendron posted his 100th career win at UMaine in the regular-season finale, a 1-0 win over Providence College. He has a record of 100-126-30.
His Hockey East regular-season record is 60-79-19 and he owns a 4-12 playoff mark.
UMaine has gone 33-29-10 in Hockey East regular-season play the last three seasons after going 27-50-9 in its first four seasons under Gendron.
This year’s team finished 15th in the country in the latest United States College Hockey Online poll and it was 15th in the Pairwise Rankings that mimic the NCAA Tournament selection process.
Despite averaging just 2.62 goals per game, 37th among 60 Division I schools, UMaine parlayed Swayman’s goaltending, an overachieving defense corps with limited experience, conscientious defensive play and the offensive production of All-Hockey East second-team pick Mitch Fossier and linemate Tim Doherty into its second-half run.
UMaine allowed only 2.21 goals per game, 10th best in the country, and its .861 penalty-killing percentage ranked 11th.